A Plan for Business SuccessBy Dave Sobel | Posted 2010-05-06 Email Print
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Business success doesn't just happen. It's planned. HTG participation helps businesses stay on track with plans and goals, keeping us all accountable for our business success.
Recently I went down at the HTG Summit
in Dallas—four days of deep dives
into my business, my colleagues’ businesses and training sessions related to
becoming a better businessman. The free sharing of ideas is what draws me most
to these events, allowing me to really learn more about our industry and business,
and do my best to enable my business to go forward.
The Summit itself, however, is only the end of one cycle of preparing. I wrote a commentary piece earlier this year about quarterly goals, and this is the first "check in" on that process. Here’s a little insight into how we try to organize our business to have that rhythm and heartbeat of the business.
Every quarter has goals that are determined. Ideally, we’ve laid out our one-year goals and are looking 12 months ahead to know where we want to go. (This is the intention, even if we don’t always hit it!) With that 12-month direction, we’re targeting the 3- to 5-year destination, assuming that the 12-month plan provides the tactics to get us moving correctly toward our long-term goal.
To make these goals more tangible, we present our quarterly goals in our internal staff meetings, which then are broken into monthly, weekly and even daily steps. If we’re doing things right, daily and weekly movements are just small steps in our plan to hit the longer-term goals.
Since the goals are vetted both internally by staff and externally by my HTG colleagues, it gives me a pretty good sense of where the business is going to go, and it communicates it effectively with the team.
Adding to this is an emphasis on metrics. Each goal should be measurable, and we determine what steps we need to get there. We pull our metrics from our financials and from our PSA tool, ConnectWise, and ensure we know how we’re doing. With a simple glance at my office dashboard, I know how our service team is doing, how much billing we need to do, how busy my sales team is, and any risk ahead.
Finally, we layer our financial metrics on this to see if we achieved our goals, and what we can do to improve beyond this. Our HTG group fully participates in the Service Leadership Index benchmarking process, which we use to compare ourselves.
Does this seem like a lot of planning? Absolutely. It’s a time investment, but without it, how would we know how we’re doing? If you don’t plan, you’re simply planning to fail. With all this, that doesn’t mean we aren’t afraid to take a risk and try something new, but we should know why we’re doing it.
HTG simply brings the structure to a forefront. By planning, we’re making intelligent decisions about what we want to do, and by consulting with other colleagues on a regular basis, we get the benefits of that collective intelligence and can make course corrections as needed. The investment of energy in other people’s businesses also drives enthusiasm, and gives us people to turn to when we need it. It’s a labor of love.